For MEB, always.
Thermidor of course is the month in which Robespiere and the Committee of Public Safety were arrested, executed, and French revolutionary enthusiasms in general cooled.
Trotsky referred to the rise of Stalin in that context, if he was too early, as that can't be said to have held until much later at the time of his death and the cessation of the generalized use of execution to settle policy differences, if it points to a natural process in revolutionary moments.
Revolutions by their nature don't last forever, since at some point power has to be consolidated to preserve life at the most basic level, numerically and as to quality.
Like or not, the Arab Spring was most definitely a revolutionary moment in world history,if Realpolitik instructs why Syria has become something of the Thermidor of that moment too.
Whether Bashar al Assad is forcibly removed from office or not, by domestic opposition or not, by Turkey, or by NATO, it will be governed by much less romantic considerations, for good reason.
That is because the unveiling of the potentialities of revolution as to State interests is much clearer now in Syria in terms of the rise of Islamicism, and also as to the increasing sense by all the Powers of more traditional State interests in terms of power and security.
Russia let Libya slide reluctantly, if the military weakness of the Libyan state made that both much easier to accomplish and less painful for the Russians to contemplate. Turth be told, Qadhafi was always something of an embarrassment to everyone who ever had dealings with him.
Militarily, as to considerations of Realpolitik, Syria is many things, but militarily trivial or a joke is not one of them, which has implications within and without Syria that lead especially in the context of the victory of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt to a much less romantic considerations of interest: Realpolitik.
To militarily topple Syria would not be a small operation, unless Syrian morale were to collapse under a barrage that would still have to be of Shock and Awe scale, i.e. several thousand precision guided munitions costing not a small amount of money, nor constituting a small part of the U.S. arsenal.
Moreover, because of Syrian military capabilities being much different than Libya, and again in the context of certain unpleasant probabilities as to the evolution of the Syrian state in the event of the collapse of Assad, the Russians see that combbination as worth running far more risk as to preserving, thereby greatly increasing the risk of unilateral American actions, and its potential cost, both of which make that less probable, although there remains the argument some have advanced all along in Realpolitik terms that to smash the Syrian state is worthwhile precisely because of Russian opposition in the context of their ongoing diplomatic support of Iran.
But because of the unveiling of who the Arab Spring will likely bring to power, which in all revolutions is somewhat disillusioning, and because of military considerations, Realpolitik considerations play the key role in Syria, making whatever happens next much more driven by such considerations, and by their unromantic character make Syria something of the Thermidor of the Arab Spring, almost especially if is decided that to intimidate Iran, and to intimidate Russia from supporting Iran, to smash Assad.